Concierge’s Top Hidden Things to do in Charleston

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Maybe your idea of the perfect vacation is charting the open seas on a 49-foot yacht with friends and family. Or perhaps challenging your culinary skills and spending an evening with a famous local chef is more your forte. Whatever it is that you wish to do during your stay in Charleston, the concierge team at Belmond Charleston Place is here to make it happen for you.

Our concierge are well-versed in all things Charleston and can offer recommendations on where to find the most savory Lowcountry cuisine, provide directions to Charleston’s grandest attractions and open doors to activities not typically offered to Charleston visitors. Here at Belmond Charleston Place, we would like to make your stay with us an unforgettable experience by helping you discover the charming, hidden parts of Charleston that are typically not otherwise open to the public. All you have to do is ask!

Below is a list of excursions we can arrange that guests may not find on their own.

For the gardener: Exclusive private walking tour of Charleston’s private gardens in the historic district, by native author and expert, Louisa Pringle Cameron.

For the golfer: Tee time at either the Seabrook Island or Daniel Island Clubs, both of which are closed to the public.

For the sailor: Charter of the sailing yacht, The Fate, which is a privately owned 49-foot Beneteau that sleeps up to six people.

For the theologist: A private driving tour of “Little Jerusalem” by Fran Bennett, including Temple Beth Elohim, the oldest reform synagogue in the world.

For the architectural enthusiast: An exclusive “behind-the-scenes” tour of the Calhoun Mansion.

For the romantic: A morning or afternoon of horseback riding along the beach at Seabrook Island.

For the adventurer: A private flying tour, either by Cessna or helicopter.

For the historian: Explore African-American history in the Lowcountry and the surrounding sea islands with a private Gullah driving tour.

For the foodie: Enjoy the top culinary destination in the nation with a personalized culinary walking tour of local restaurants and neighborhoods.

For a special occasion: Savor a private dinner in a historic home with a famous local chef.

Whether you’re the type of traveler to follow an adventurous itinerary or if your ideal vacation only requires a few beach chairs and catching up on some R&R, the concierge team at Belmond Charleston Place wants to make your stay in Charleston a journey like no other. Download our Concierge’s Top Hidden things to do in Charleston list here, see our sample itineraries for Charleston here, or call us at 843 722 4900 today to start planning your next unforgettable trip to Charleston!

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Haint Blue and its Historic Ties

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If you have ever strolled through the charming streets of downtown Charleston, it is likely that you’ve caught a glimpse of the soft blue paint that graces the ceilings of the Holy City’s most iconic porches. From some of the most historic houses in the Lowcountry to modern single family homes, ceilings splashed with shades of “haint blue” have become increasingly prevalent throughout the years. While some believe the purpose behind the colorful accent is simply to create a charming appearance and a relaxing ambiance, others believe the baby blue ceilings represent an anecdote of historical (and spooky) significance.

 Now mimicked by paint companies, the first ever haint blue color is said to have originated from Gullah Culture in the Carolinas hundreds of years ago. The Gullah people created the faded blue color using a mixture of milk, indigo dye, lime, and other pigments on hand. Although there is no real evidence to support it, many Southerners claim that haint blue also has the ability to banish bugs, a reputation likely stemming from the original integration of lime, a natural insect repellent.

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Legend has it that painting porch ceilings, door frames, and window frames with a coat of the light blue color will protect homeowners by chasing away haints, or evil, restless spirits who have yet to move on from the physical world. While this might sound far-fetched, don’t be too quick to rule it out as a myth. In a historically haunted city such as Charleston, many local homeowners still believe there to be some truth in this longstanding tradition.

Superstitions aside, many people opt for the calming blue color on porch ceilings as a way to imitate the sky, extend daylight hours, and create a tranquil setting for an area often intended for rest and relaxation. Whatever the true purpose behind it may be, it is Southern traditions such as this that make Charleston so extraordinary!

Concierge Tip: Stop into the Calhoun Mansion on 16 Meeting Street between 11am and 5pm for a tour of the largest private residence in Charleston. Learn more about the home and its haint blue porch ceilings or follow this walking route to see more examples.

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Beer, Wine and Liquor with a South Carolina Address

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If you have traveled to Kentucky, you may be familiar with the “Bourbon Trail” a road leading between some of the greatest Kentucky bourbon distilleries. We are making our own trail by way of Charleston.

Recently, we have been lucky enough to have a wave of new distilleries and breweries make their home in the South. If you are planning a trip to Charleston, take the time to explore some of these nationally renowned watering holes.

If you like sweet tea….

Firefly Distillery
Sweet Tea comes with South Carolina territory, and that is why we love Firefly Distillery, where they serve up Sweet Tea Vodka with that personable, Southern hospitality.

Located approximately 30 minutes off the peninsula, make a day out of visiting this distillery and also plan on visiting the conveniently located, sole tea plantation in America, Charleston Tea Plantation. It will become obvious why the Sweet Tea Vodka is so good.

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Experience it:
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday from 11am-5pm
Price: $6
Phone: 843-557-1405
Address: 6775 Bears Bluff Road, Wadmalaw Island, SC 29487

If you like spirits…

Striped Pig Distillery
“From Grain to Grass, Striped Pig ingredients are locally grown” is the tagline that this Charleston favorite boasts. Enjoy spirits including moonshine, rum and vodka. If you’re lucky, you may even meet their mascot, Jackson, the distillery’s pig.

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Experience it:
Hours: Wednesday-Friday from 3-7pm and Saturday 12-5pm
Price: Free
Phone: 843-276-3201
Address: 2225-A Old School Drive, 
Charleston, SC 29405

If you like beer…

Westbrook Brewing Co.
Westbrook Brewery’s mission is to make the most interesting, drinkable, and delicious beer possible. Westbrook loves to experiment with different ingredients and brewing techniques, which is the reason why they have so many varieties of beer. Look at the Tasting Room tab to see what is on tap for the week. You can’t go wrong with the White Thai, a Charleston staple.

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Experience it:
Hours: Tuesday-Friday from 4-7pm and Saturday from 12-6pm
Price: $6
Phone: 843-654-9114
Address: 510 Ridge Road
, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

If you like a road trip…

Six & Twenty Distillery

Six & Twenty whiskey is actually quite romantic, named after a love story between a Cherokee and a Revolutionary war soldier. They offer a premium whiskey, with emphasis on supporting everything local; starting with the locally grown wheat that is distilled into their delicious whiskey.

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Experience it:
Hours: Saturday at 1pm & 4pm
Price: Free (Call to make a reservation)
Phone: 864-263-8312
Address: 3109 Highway 153 Piedmont, SC 29673

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